Chu Niikwän Artist Residency


The Chu Niikwän Artist Residency is a unique partnership between three visual arts presenters: Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC), the Yukon Arts Centre (YAC) and the Yukon Art Society (YAS). Centered around the shared goals of artistic innovation, collaboration and professional development, this 3-week paid residency will invite three visual artists as well as one emerging curator to gather in Whitehorse, Yukon to develop an exhibition of new work.

Named by the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre’s Governance Council to recognize the Yukon River, from August 5-25 2018, each artist will be provided with their own studio space in a venue operated by the participating partners: KDCC Culture Cabins (Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre), the Old Fire Hall (Yukon Arts Centre) and Arts Underground (Yukon Art Society). While these artists will have dedicated space to develop their own work, the close proximity of these studios to one another - as well as many popular meeting places along the Yukon River - will help facilitate collaboration between the artists.In addition, each residency will have a particular focus that supports the mandate of the host organizations.

The curator will work with the artists to develop a curatorial concept for a group show at Arts Underground, prepare a written piece for publication about the exhibition, visit each artist once per week for a studio visit and will have the opportunity to develop hands-on curatorial/preparatory skills.

The culminating group show at Arts Underground will take place from September 7-29 2018, with an artist talk during Culture Days 2018 on either September 28 or 29.


Nicole Bauberger, Lia Fabre-Dimsdale, and Blake Lepine


Rebecca Manias and Katie Newman

For the month of August, Blake Lepine will be creating work at the KDCC Culture Cabins, with Nicole Bauberger based at the Old Fire Hall, and Lia Fabre-Dimsdale at Arts Underground.

The public are invited to join the artists for a series of free events, including an open studio evening on August 16 from 4pm to 7pm, an exhibition opening reception on September 7 from 5pm to 9pm, and an artist talk at Arts Underground on September 29 from 1pm to 3pm.


2018 Artist Bios

Nicole Baubergers art practice varies. A 5-year apprenticeship in oil painting in the 90’s has rooted her artwork. And yet, she will use encaustic, acrylic, clay, beadwork, teabags, doilies and crochet yarn, research and writing, or songs on the ukulele, as required. Bauberger’s shows have toured public galleries since 1999. Her current solo exhibition, Get There From Here, will appear in Peterborough and Toronto ON next spring. She embraces collaboration, as evident in the exhibition Webbed Space, created collaboratively with Jessica Vellenga at the Northern Front Studio.  As well, she was Scavenging for the many faces of Raven with White River First Nation artist Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé, January-May 2018. She works with the artists at the Lumel hot glass studio in Whitehorse, paints with Yukon clay on porcelain vessels by Marie Côté, and draws designs for Kwanlin Dun elders Annie Smith and her daughter Dianne Smith.

Lia Fabre-Dimsdale has lived in the north for most of her life, living in the small communities of Wrigley and Fort Simpson, NWT. She has a mixed background of Dehcho Dene from Liidlii-Kue First Nation from herfather's side and French-Italian from her mother's side. Growing up in the north has greatly influenced her artwork, with inspiration coming from the land and the plants. Other influences for her art come from films and books that she grew up with, most being old French traditional-style animated films, and beautifully illustrated story books. And as Lia grew older and discovered more forms of art, the famous Ghibli Studio and their films renown for their detailed and nature-inspired artistry and hand-drawn animation became a huge inspiration. Today she finds inspiration in many other films, and have a strong interest in storytelling.

Blake Lepine or Shaá’koon, was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon. He descends from Tlingit, Han, Cree and Scottish decent. However it’s the Tlingit culture that he grew up with. Blake began at the age of 7 with life drawing of animals and tracing out old designs from carving books his mother had laying around. Many hours have been spent practicing and perfecting his own stylized form and interpretation of this art while adhering to the traditional foundations, to give a modern voice to an ancient art, but also branching it into modern mediums other than the traditional forms of carving and painting of his ancestors. Blake has also taken on studies in silk screen and design, beadwork, textile work and sewing, painted leather, collage, block printing and watercolour. Through these mediums Blake has found a way of expressing his everyday experiences and life lessons through this art.


For more information about the Chu Niikwän Artist Residency:

What we're offering

Who is eligible to apply

Application Process

FAQ for Visual Artists

FAQ for Emerging Curators


What we’re offering:

Artist in Residence

  • Studio space at one of the three participating venues from August 3-25, 2018
  • Opportunity to exhibit work created during the residency at Arts Underground from September 7-29, 2018
  • $2,500 honorarium (per artist)


Curator in Residence

  • Access to wi-fi and a laptop at Arts Underground from August 3-25, 2018
  • Opportunity to curate an exhibition at Arts Underground from September 7-29, 2018
  • $1,000 honourarium


We are not able to provide accommodations for participants at this time


Who is eligible to apply?

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC Culture Cabins): Indigenous visual artists only
Yukon Arts Centre (at the Old Fire Hall): Any emerging or established Indigenous or non-Indigenous visual artist
Yukon Art Society (at Arts Underground): Indigenous or non-Indigenous emerging visual artists only. Emerging visual artists are defined as being in the early stages of their career with a short exhibition history and a commitment to expanding their practice

All applicants must be residents of the Yukon or Atlin, B.C.


Application Process

Artist in Residence
a) Completed application form
b) Short bio (150 words maximum)
c) 8-10 high quality photos of work
completed within the past 5 years
d) Letter of intent (what you plan to do)
e) Artist CV

Curator in Residence
a) Completed application form
b) Short bio (150 words maximum)
c) Minimum 2 writing samples completed within the past 5 years
d) Letter of intent (what you plan to do)
e) CV

All applications will be received through our ONLINE PORTAL. The 2018 deadline has passed.

Jury Process
Applications will be juried by a panel of representatives from the partnering institutions


FAQ for Visual Artists

What will I need to bring?
Artists will need to bring all materials and items they require to work independently for three weeks

What are the working hours? What are the studio hours?
Artists must spend 20+ hours/week working in their studios. Hours of studio access are from 10am-7pm

Are artists required to engage with the community?
Yes. Artists are required to engage with the community their three week residency. This will take place in the form of one open studio in which the public can visit with the artist and one artist talk during Culture Days on either the 28 or 29 of September

What will happen to the work that is created during the residency?
Artists are expected to have work which has been created during the residency ready for exhibition in early September. One image from each artist will be retained for future promotional purposes

How are the visual art residents supposed to interact with the curator?
Artists are expected to work with the curator on the development of a curatorial direction for the exhibition. At minimum, the visual art residents should expect one visit per week from the emerging curator

How will the visual arts residents interact with each other?
Artists are expected to meet with each other a minimum of 3 times throughout the duration of the residency. Due to the close proximity of all of the residents there will be many opportunities to interact and have discussions

When is the exhibition and what is expected of the artists?
Artists are expected to be present at the opening of the group show at Arts Underground on September 7 from 4pm-7:30pm and be prepared to say a few words about their experience


FAQ for Emerging Curator

Who can apply?
This residency is open to Yukoners who have some experience in curating and are looking to expand their skills

What are the working hours?
The emerging curator is expected to work a minimum of 10 hours/week over three weeks. No formal office is provided but a laptop and wi-fi is available at Arts Underground

How will the emerging curator engage with the visual artists?
The curator is expected to meet with all three artists a minimum of once per week over three weeks to develop curatorial direction for a collaborative show at Arts Underground in September

What are the expectations of the curator in residence?
1) Exhibition catalogue: Creation of a curatorial essay for publication investigating the theoretical basis for the exhibition and the experience of working with the artists. To be completed and submitted by August 25, 2018
2) Exhibition: work with the Arts Underground preparator to install the show on September 4 and 5. The curator should be prepared to say a few words about their experience at the opening reception
3) Community Engagement: The curator is expected to give a short talk for Culture Days in Whitehorse on the 28 or 29 of September


Questions? Please contact us at:
15-305 Main Street
Whitehorse, YT
Y1A 2B4